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Ants in the pants

May 19, 2010

It’s nice to be working again.  I’ve just gotten over an ear infection that kept me out of the water and now I’m as close to 100% as I ever am.  One of the challenges diving all the time is keeping your health up to ‘back home’ standards.  Being in the water all the time, particularly less than pristine quality, your body is exposed to so much shit that when cuts do occur it’ll take a month for them to fully heal.  And they usually leave a mark.  This has been my second time held up because of ear trouble.  At the same time this is quite typical – everyone comes down with problems and the island accommodates.  I’ve never seen so many pharmacies and clinics in one place.  They’re right across the road from each other in some cases (just like the 7-11s).  All the same there’s nothing you can’t find behind the counter and nothing they won’t sell you.  In more extreme circumstances it’s possible to go to the “clinic” half way up the mountain and buy what you need from a guy standing in front of a neon light.  No need to mention it’s a bad idea.
In any event it’s important to look after yourself as best as possible.  Trying to find all the right foods is a bit of a challenge sometimes.  Only a week ago, I finally bought myself some multi-grain bread and peanut butter for good measure.  I picked up some muslie as well but the bloody ants will stop at nothing to appease their queen.  The rotten bastards ate through two plastic bags to claim my bread as their own.  I bought some tupperware for the muslie but haven’t perfected the bread yet.  I’ve found if I hide it in the mosquito netting above my bed, I have no problems.  I fear it’s only a matter of time before they figure that one out too.

Day 2 now of my entry into this post.  Unfortunately, things have had a slight turn for the worse.  It was suggested by my boss that I should be once again sending out CVs for hopes of finding more work.  He’s absolutely right, but I’m still annoyed at the whole situation for many reasons, not interesting enough to discuss here.  So here goes another full on job hunt, here on Ko Tao.  The positive this time is that I much more experience and over 200 dives on Ko Tao.  The drawback is that we’re in the midst of low season and the nation’s capital has armored vehicles smashing improvised road blocks, next door to high end shopping plazas.  I’ve been trying to look at all my options –
Maybe this is a sign to come home early?  Possibly, but my ticket isn’t flexible and newly booked flights are far too expensive.  Maybe stick it out on the island?  More likely to be the case since I have a better shot of not running out of money and it’ll take me some time to shed the chaff and get ready to pack it all up, anyway.  What I expect is that I’ll hand out CVs, work whatever I can for another month and a half, and then I should have enough money to not have to worry too much and I can relax for the last few weeks.  The plan is to make my way to Sabang in Indonesia for my last amount of time in South East Asia.  It’s a little island just at the northern tip of Sumatra, the largest west island of Indonesia.  It’s well off the mainstream tourist track, cheap rooms, local cuisine and diving, of course.  Nothing is 100% by any means but this is where things seem to be headed.  Either way, it’s back in Bangkok by August 3rd to head home unless my hand is forced erarly and then who knows?

I can’t think of a word yet to best surmise the experience thus far.  “Pretty f*cking awesome” is close.  All the same I’m getting tired of it all.  It’s wildly inconsistent in many respects and the restlessness that comes with idling about all the time is growing.  Some of my close mates are leaving the island soon and then there will be that much less.  No matter what though diving will always be something fascinating to me and students coming to learn keep it fresh.  I’m curious to see what form my diving back home will take (sign up now for lessons!).

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